History Exhibit and Spoken Word

Malcolm X Memorial Foundation and Nebraska Arts Council Sponsor Two-Day Visit by Black History 101 Mobile Museum and “Mental Liberation Poetry Jam” featuring Amir Sulaiman Sept. 2-3

The Malcolm X Memorial Foundation (MXMF), with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council, will host its first “Mental Liberation Poetry Jam,” headlined by acclaimed Spoken Word Poet Amir Sulaiman, Saturday, Sept. 3, 6 to 8 p.m., at the Malcolm X Center, 3448 Evans Street.

The Malcolm X Center also will host Nebraska’s SECOND visit by the renowned Black History 101 Mobile Museum with curator Khalid El-Hakim. The museum displays will be open to the public on Friday, Sept. 2, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be no admission charge to visit the Black History 101 Mobile Museum, but a free will donation is encouraged.

The performance by Amir Sulaiman will be $10 adults ($15 at the door), and $5 for youth under 18 and elders (senior citizens). This program will include guest appearances by Omaha spoken word artists and Hip Hop performers Prototype XX (Y’Shall Tarlon and J’Reed Maat).

“This is going to be one of the most informative, entertaining and inspiring Labor Day weekend events in Nebraska,” said Walter Brooks, Administrative Director of the MXMF. “We truly encourage all of Omaha to come out and experience this unique traveling Black History exhibit and the extraordinary mind and voice of Amir Sulaiman.”

Sulaiman intensely radiates the stories of life. From the silent cries of the battered wife to the painful resignation of the orphaned child in Malawi, the ailments of humanity are channeled through him into the eyes, ears, and hearts of the listeners. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he speaks of change, of growth, of reviving life.

Twice featured on HBO’s Def Jam Poetry show, Sulaiman has four albums to date. His writings were significantly influenced by the Black Arts Movement, the literary and artistic extension of the Black Power Movement of the ’60s and ’70s, and one of its cardinal figures, Amiri Baraka. While attending North Carolina A&T State University, Sulaiman built his reputation at spoken word forums on college campuses, coffeehouses, and bookstores. During his sophomore year, he released his first book of poetry, “Words of Love, Life and Death.”

Sulaiman self-released his first spoken word album, “Cornerstore Folklore,” in 2001. In 2004, he received his first national showcase on HBO’s Def Poetry show. He released two more albums in 2004 and 2006, “Dead Man Walking” and “Broad Daylight,” respectively.

Brooklyn MC/actor Mos Def, former host of HBO’s Def Poetry show, took Sulaiman on tour as his opening performer in 2005 and 2006. Then in 2007, Sulaiman released his critically acclaimed fourth album, “Like a Thief in the Night.” This album features appearances from Mos Def, Dead Prez’s M-1, and the Last Poets, the acknowledged “godfathers” of African American spoken word poetry.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Black History 101 Mobile Museum, an innovative traveling table top exhibit depicting Black memorabilia spanning from slavery to Hip Hop. Led by Founder/ Director Khalid el-Hakim, this museum has acquired over 3,000 original artifacts and includes pivotal displays on the Black Power Movement, Nation Of Islam, Civil Rights Movement, as well as sports, literature and music.  The Black History 101 Mobile Museum travels to colleges, universities, K-12 schools, conferences, and cultural events across the country.

The museum’s treasures include original documents from historic Black figures whose contributions helped shape the United States. Artifacts in this unparalleled mobile collection represent items from the categories of slavery, Jim Crow era, music, sports, the Civil Rights and Black Power era, and popular culture. A few prominent pieces in the collection’s archives include a rare slave bill of sale and documents signed by Booker T. Washington, Ralph Bunche, Rosa Parks, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Shirley Chisholm, Dr. Dorothy Height, Alex Haley, Ice T and others.

Khalid el-Hakim said, “History is important, because for years we’ve been told lies, we’ve been told a history of omission. People leave out parts of history. It’s my purpose and mission, as a teacher, to go out and fill in the voids that history has left out. My mission is to raise the consciousness of the human family by sharing artifacts that celebrate the contributions, achievements, and experiences of African Americans. I want people to walk away as inspired as I’ve been as a collector and student of this history.”

For more information, or tickets, contact Walter Brooks at 402-517-6459 or email walter@malcolmxfoundation.org.  Tickets are also on sale at the Aframerican Bookstore, 3226 Lake St., 402-455-9200.

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